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Monday March 15, 2010

‘Sect leader practised witchcraft to marry daughter’

zalinah@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The mother of the 11-year-old Kelantanese girl who was “married” to a 41-year-old man has claimed that he could have used black magic to fulfil his wish of marrying children.

Siti Sarnan Mat Ail, 42, whose daughter Siti Nur Zubaidah ended up being “married” to the religious sect leader after being abducted by him last month, alleged that he had also used religion to convince his followers that he had an agenda to expand the Prophet’s teachings.

Upset mum: Siti Sarnan talking to the press at the Sungai Buloh Hospital yesterday. Looking on is Shahrizat.

On Saturday, a Malay daily reported that the girl was found in a dazed state outside a mosque in Kepong on Friday, after being abandoned by her “husband”.

The daily reported that the sect leader had also married off his daughter to a middle-aged man.

Siti Sarnan, who met reporters after visiting her daughter with Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil at the Sungai Buloh hospital here yesterday, said her husband was initially talked into signing up their daughter at a religious school by the man.

She said the man, who already has four wives and six children, approached her husband on Feb 19 and convinced him that it would be good to send their daughter to a religious school in Machang.

“He also asked for our daughter to be married to him as she would be put under his care while attending religious school.

“All my husband could do was agree, even though he was not fully aware of what was happening,” claimed Siti Sarnan.

“My husband came back that night and told me to cook lunch the next day as there would be visitors coming to our house in Pasir Mas, Kelantan.

“Nine men came to our house with the man. My daughter was devastated when she learnt that her father had agreed to send her away. She refused to go but relented after my husband persuaded her,” Siti Sarnan said.

She said a police report was lodged on Feb 21 after the man failed to return the girl as promised.

Asked if she knew if the “marriage” was “consummated,” Siti Sarnan declined to comment. She, however, said her daughter was in a state of shock and traumatised by the ordeal.

“My daughter has now expressed her wish to be taken care of by her uncle in Tanah Merah and not by us,” Siti Sarnan said.

Meanwhile, Shahrizat urged the relevant authorities to take action against the man and those involved in the “reckless and irresponsible act”.

Such an act, said Shahrizat, was a contravention of Section 8 of the Kelantan Muslim Family Law Enactment 2002, which stated that any female below 16 was not allowed to enter into marriage, except with written permission from the Syariah Court.

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